Sunday, July 29, 2007

Where's Cindy Crawford?

I spent the weekend in DeKalb, Illinois. Not the most exciting place in the world, but I got to spend some time with Tolemite and experience a bit of the DeKalb nightlife. Well, it ain't the Viper Room, but there surely are a lot of cute girls at The Annex. I think we might have gotten more entertainment value out of the fat guy in the Spider-Man T-shirt, the white guy with the gigantic Afro, and the maybe-retarded guy with the dirty cap, tank top and crossed eyes. I also sat through three long trains in less than two days, ate my first Baconnator at Wendy's (criminy, two patties, two slices of cheese and six pieces of bacon), and fell in love with the scrumptious hostess at the Hillside (where I had excellent chicken parmesan).

The big score of the weekend was found at Bargain Addict, which is this dirty, grimy, sweltering junk shop/pawn shop where they also hold AA meetings. I picked up a few used VHS tapes, but the major haul was all five seasons of THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, the extras-laden box sets from Image Entertainment. What retails for about $69.99 apiece was sitting on the shelf there for $10! Yep, I snared the entire run of DICK VAN DYKE for $50, which will probably be the best DVD bargain I find this year.

Tolemite and I found time to, of course, watch some crappy movies:
  • BIGFOOT: THE MYSTERIOUS MONSTER--Peter Graves hosts this hilarious 1976 "documentary" from Sunn Classics, in which he convinces us that, yes, he too once was skeptical, but once you've seen the conclusive evidence, you'll have no choice but to believe that Sasquatch is real. Complete with psychics, plaster footprints, dramatizations, and Graves peering at Sasquatch feces through a microscope. The trailer is on YouTube. "This may be the most startling film you ever see!"
  • BIGFOOT is a lame 1970 horror movie starring John Carradine, Robert Mitchum's brother John and son Chris, Bing Crosby's son Lindsay and pneumatic Joi Lansing. A whole family of Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) kidnap bikini chicks for procreation purposes. Carradine and John Mitchum are peddlers who team up with bikers to stop them. A bad, boring film.
  • GOING TO PIECES: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SLASHER FILM is a documentary made last year by the Starz cable network. Worth watching if you're a fan of the genre, though you should be warned that the twist endings of films like APRIL FOOL'S DAY, FRIDAY THE 13TH, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME and SLEEPAWAY CAMP are revealed, so if you haven't seen these films, you should probably avoid this documentary.
  • SHARKS' TREASURE was written, produced and directed by its star, Cornel Wilde, who walks around with no shirt and tiny shorts, doing one-handed pushups, for no reason than to show off how buff he is. Matter of fact, everyone, including Yaphet Kotto, wears tiny shorts. Some treasure-hunters in the Caribbean are waylaid by (gay) escaped convicts who force their "bitch" to wear a bikini and do a striptease. The climax takes place on a deserted island. I'm a Wilde fan and this PG adventure is actually kinda entertaining, if not weird.
  • HOME MOVIE is a short documentary by the director of AMERICAN MOVIE that looks at five psychopaths and their weird houses. A Louisiana Cajun lives on a houseboat in the middle of the gulf (I bet that shack is long gone now), an Illinois man has a completely electronic house and a talking robot (!) to go with it, a weird cat couple has cat stuff everywhere to complement their 13 kitties, a hippie couple lives in a Kansas missile silo (that actually seems cool), and a crazy old lady has a treehouse a zillion miles from civilization in Hawaii. We got curious and Googled the robot guy, learning he lives only an hour from DeKalb. We got his phone number and address, but didn't go visit him. Maybe next time.
  • BRUCE LEE THE INVINCIBLE--Not entirely sure what the hell was happening in this Chinese kung fu flick (which is not unusual for the genre), but it had some cute women, no Bruce Lee, and a wild battle scene where two Chinese guys have a karate fight with a pair of apes! KFA--these are on YouTube too!
  • THE FOOD OF THE GODS was directed by Bert I. Gordon and stars Marjoe Gortner as an NFL quarterback who punches out a giant chicken (!) and then helps a pregnant woman, an old lady, an asshole and some others escape an army of giant rats. Great entertainment and great looking on the Japanese DVD I have. PETA would shit if it saw this movie, because Gordon films actors firing guns at the giant rats by either squibbing real rats, shooting rats with paintballs, or just blowing away rats in front of the camera. However, he did, the rats don't like it, that's for damn sure.
  • A few years before he became a Crappy Movie Star--robbing banks with a topless Lynda Carter in BOBBIE JO AND THE OUTLAW, killing hippies with crazy Andy Griffith in PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS, and getting jealous of Evel Knievel in the genius crapfast VIVA KNIEVEL!--Marjoe Gortner was the star of MARJOE, a documentary about his life as a child evangelist who performed wedding ceremonies at age 4. After getting out of the biz in his teens, Gortner returned to the roadshow circuit to fleece a few bucks from naive Christians, and he allowed a documentary film crew to film him doing it. Interesting stuff.
  • THE DEVIL BAT is a hilarious 67-minute wonder from 1940, starring Bela Lugosi as a mad scientist who trains a giant bat to attack people wearing his experimental new shaving lotion. He offers his enemies free samples, and then cackles when they are chomped by his swooping pets. He calls someone a "bombastic ignoramus"--best insult ever. This PRC cheapie is a great film and would kill at B-Fest


Anonymous said...

Bargain Addict says "I want you to get out the biggest bill you've got in your wallet!"

Had a great time, Martin, thanks for coming up!

katie said...

how come you did stop by?

Robert said...

Cornel Wilde wants YOU to quit smoking! I can't help but wonder if SHARK'S TREASURE would have been released at all if it had not been for JAWS. United Artists probably saw the grosses, realized they had a shark movie on their shelf and clicked their heels.

THE MYSTERIOUS MONSTERS was one of those Sunn Classic efforts that usually featured Brad Crandall narrating the trailer and saturation ad marketing to draw in the willing. I was one of those suckers; my Dad took me to see it when it opened in my town. This wasn't the first time I'd seen one of these types of films - I'd already watched THE OUTER SPACE CONNECTION at a Saturday matinee.

As for FOOD OF THE GODS - that was shot here in British Columbia. To the best of my knowledge it's the only movie featuring footage of Empire Stadium (where Marjoe plays football at the beginning), long since gone. I saw my first football game there.